Weather or not, the time is right to get out for a little spring fishing

OUTDOORS

April 04, 1993|By LONNY WEAVER

The chilly, wet weather of the last couple of days notwithstanding, spring really is here, and with it the urge to get out and wet a fishing line.

For a few years now, Maryland has had a closed season on bass from March 1 to June 15, but this just means that you cannot keep any during that time.

There is absolutely nothing illegal about catching and releasing all the bass you can hook, and as experienced bass anglers know only too well, right now through May are top bassing times.

Here are some tips that I have picked up over the years that may help you put some of April's bass on a roll of film. Most of these ideas apply to largemouth bassing and are especially effective on Liberty, Loch Raven and Prettyboy.

Get into the shallows right now, even before the first leaves appear on the trees. It is not unusual to make outstanding catches at this time of year, thanks to warm spells similar to what we had Monday, Tuesday and part of Wednesday. Sometimes that is all it takes to drive a big bass on a feeding spree.

Fish the points and deeper shorelines in water four to eight feet deep using spinnerbaits, rattling minnow lures, jig n' pigs or diving crankbaits. You will find that bass use these depths as a sort of staging area before they move into the shallows. I have found this to be especially true in Liberty during early April.

Big bass often move inshore into shallow water, but a cold snap, like we had the latter part of last week, will chase them back to deep water. When you find bass in shallow areas, hit them with spinnerbaits, rattling lures or shallow diving minnow lures like the Rapala.

Warm periods these next few weeks may be followed by fast-moving cold fronts. The best fishing, I believe, is found on the last warm day before that front passes through. After such a front, like the one we've just had, passes, fishing probably will be slow for a couple of days.

Bass are especially sensitive to changes to temperature this time of the year. They will usually search out spots where the water is just marginally warmer. Such areas could be where streams enter into larger bodies of water. Another good area is a sunny, wind-protected cove.

Don't let discolored or muddy water keep you home. Use bright, noisy lures and spinnerbaits. I've had good luck with silver, chartreuse and

black-colored lures at these times.

Catch an April trout, too

Last Saturday morning, I rubbed shoulders with Carroll trouters fishing the stocked Westminster Pond, Farm Museum Pond and, early in the afternoon, Beaver Run. A great time was had by all.

I have noticed that after the first weekend, most of these popular stocked trout waters get noticeably less attention for the most part. This is a mistake. Believe me, each spot holds a lot more trout than are caught.

The trick is not to get too fancy, but sort of kick back and have a good time dunking cheese balls, worms, salmon eggs or small spinners.

I do admit to breaking out the flyrod and rigging it with streamers and wet flies if I get a chance to sneak away to a place like Beaver Run on a mid-week afternoon and find hungry trout well into early summer.

Remember, there is a five-per-day limit on put-and-take trout areas.

But, on all other waters the daily limit is two, except for the Youghiogheny Reservoir Fishing Area where you can take as many as eight daily.

Trout fans may want to attend a public information meeting presented by the Department of Natural Resources concerning a draft management plan for Big Hunting Creek, in neighboring Frederick County, set for April 17 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the American Legion Hall in Thurmont.

More outdoors events

Interested in carving your own decorative or working decoy? The Carroll Carvers Club meets the second Tuesday of each month at the Piney Run Nature Center at 7:30 p.m.

* Fly-fishing expert Lefty Kreh will offer tips at Thursday's 7 p.m. meeting of the Patapsco Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited in the Iroquois Building at Hashawha.

* A fisherman's flea market will be set up at the Reisterstown Moose Lodge on April 17 from 9 to 4 p.m.

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